Article

Future Skills Readiness

Future Skills Readiness

According to the World Economic Forum, as of the year 2020, we were at the beginning of a revolution called The Fourth Industrial Revolution, also famously known as Industry 4.0. This revolution is propelled by technological advances, creating a synthesized mesh of physical, digital, and biological worlds with the underlying foundation of networks, the internet of things, and cyber-physical systems driving technological advances such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive and quantum computing, advanced robotics, intelligent automation, advanced materials, autonomous transport, the internet of things, wearable sensors, virtual and augmented reality, biotechnology, and genomics. These technological advances are poised to become an integral part of everything we do in the future. It means we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally going to change how we work, how we live and relate to one another.

Yes, we had multiple industrial revolutions prior. The key point is every time we had an industrial revolution, and many new jobs were created that either did not exist or imagined before. Similarly, Industry 4.0 will also create many new jobs, but it will be more destructive thus it will also be eliminating a lot of routine and generic jobs through technological innovations like artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation.

Further, the new jobs that will be created by Industry 4.0 need a significantly higher level of skills to help compete and more importantly stay ahead with our future adversary's artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation. This means, the new/next normal future of work will neither be based on educational degrees nor on a single skill set expertise. Instead, it will require versatile skills and competencies with 360-degree astuteness ranging from generalization (breadth) to specialization (depth). Also, the gig economy or a contract-based economy will be playing a pivotal role in the future of work leading to 'Skill-Based Hiring' (also known as Uberization of Skills). Experts say that this trend will be playing a crucial role in building the future workforce and potentially translating skills into a new global currency.

The Widening Skill Gap

While the above indicates the drastic shift in future industry and job landscapes driven by increased demand for advanced skills and need for innovation, it is also set to further widen skill gaps due to

  • The lack of rapid transformation in our current education system (barring the new education policy just announced by the govt.)
  • No focused investment in research and development to drive innovation
  • More importantly, the complacent and oblivious attitude and approach of India's youth towards learning and future skill development

There is a skill gap between future industry needs vs the available skilled and competent talent pool.

Further, as per research, by the year 2025, India's median age will be just 28 years, which means more than 60% of India's population will be under 30 years. It is a great advantage that no other country, including India, will have in many years to come!

The Solution

As a result of all the above factors, I sensed an urgent need to impart to the youth and young professionals in India the right guidance and tools to help channelize and enable them towards their future skill readiness holistically. This is critical especially when India is at a pivotal position of having the youngest population in the aging world and with digitalization at the forefront of happening globally and especially in India that will be forcing continuous innovation.

I will be with sharing a series of the article using the future skills framework using few inferences from the book I authored "Skill UP India", 4 Mantras for future skill readiness.

About the Author

Vijay Banda is the Co-Founder of YesMentor.org. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author for the book titled Skill Up India, 4 Mantra’s for future skill readiness. The author could be reached at Vijay@Yesmentor.org.